Anneke grew up in a ranching community, and after a year as a state officer in Future Farmers of America, Oregon State felt like a natural choice. Once here, she made connections with faculty and staff and found “they truly are advocates for students. People want more than anything to help you succeed and then highlight your success,” she says.
MAKING AN IMPACT
Anneke started out as an animal sciences major, but switched to bioresource research after realizing she wanted to have a more comprehensive impact with people. And her contributions to research at OSU may do just that — leading to a potential new treatment for Type II diabetes.
Drawn to research
Anneke was drawn to research at OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute for the direct application it has on human health and nutrition. She found a faculty mentor in Meltem Musa, whose investigation testing dietary enzymes from plant extracts for their effectiveness in treating diabetes had the goal of reaching human trials, “something I wanted to be a part of,” she says.
Asking — and answering — questions
Anneke says the most satisfying part of the research was taking the test results to preliminary human trials. “When something worked — or didn’t, we then had to ask ‘why?’,” she says. “It helped me develop an investigative mind. To not just be satisfied that something worked, but to know how it happened and if we can do it again. If it didn’t work, we were back to the drawing board to solve the problem. It’s a fascinating process.”
A healthy future
Anneke is applying to medical school and plans to become an osteopathic physician. Because of her research experience, she’s looking for a program where she can earn a master’s in public health while pursuing her MD. Then she wants to return to her roots. “Ultimately, I would love to open a clinic in a rural and underserved community,” she says, offering medical services and education focusing on women’s health and lifelong nutrition.